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posted by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the now-with-longer-half-lifes dept.
*cough*

Ok, I meant to have an open forum about moderation *way* before this point. I did read the various feedback and comments left on my journal and the last moderation, and have made some changes to the moderation system.

First, mod points now expire after eight hours. I'm willing to extend this to 12 or 16 hours after I'm sure comments will still reach +5 fairly regularly. With luck, we'll get to the point we can extend mod-points to last a full 24 hours which I suspect will end most of the complaining on them vanishing too soon.

Second, I'd like to open the floor to making a more fundamental change to the moderation system. Specifically, allowing people to post AND moderate in the same discussion. We've seen plenty of posts get up to +5, which means 3-4 people gave up their right to post to keep our comments high quality. This was brought up during our last plea for stories, and I wanted to solicit more feedback before unleashing this upon the site.

I've floated the idea on IRC, and it seems there's a fair bit of support for removing the post/moderate split, though we'd need to make some changes to prevent rampant abuse. Here's what was suggested to keep things sane:
  • Mod points won't roll back after a post
  • Moderators can post in the same discussion (either before or after moderating), but can not moderate replies to their posts.

I've heard various ideas such as limiting it only after mods have expended their points (this will require implementing a cooldown to prevent a user from getting points again too soon). I want to hear your feedback, and I'll roll together something for the next major update of the site. Leave your comments

Related Stories

Keeping The Signal/Noise Ratio High 169 comments
The tl;dr Version:
  • Drastically reduce number of moderators
  • Return of meta-moderation
  • Allow more moderation with fewer moderators
  • Supermoderations to lock posts that need it

So you guys did an amazing job in letting your voices be heard in both the moderate^post and Why Did You Lurk? posts. I've read through every comment, left a couple dozen of my own across both discussions, and have sat here and digested it. The most valuable thing we have is an incredible signal/noise ratio. This is a byproduct of this site being relatively small, and with a highly engaged community. As time goes on, we're going grow; this is a natural part of any website; a web site that is not growing is entering a death spiral.

Any community needs new members to come in as older members either become less active, or leave. Kuro5hin is a great example of what happens if you just completely shut your doors, or create barriers that are too high prevent new members from joining in.

The problem then becomes, given more and more members, can we keep a high signal to noise ratio? I think it's possible.

A Pressing Question: Why Did You Lurk? 279 comments
We've gotten some incredible feedback regards to the moderation system and the karma system, and trust me, its not going into /dev/null; I'll have a writeup done by the weekend. However, I've noticed something today that made me sit back, and think for awhile. Our community is healthy and vibrant, and we're far more cohesive as a group than we ever were on the other site. Furthermore, our users are significantly more active here than the other site. Almost all of us are from the other site, but there's a huge difference between us and them.

I can sum up the difference in four words: We ARE a community.

While many of us decried the other site calling us an audience, I'm not sure I can say I was a part of the Slashdot community. I read articles, and comments, but I hadn't moderated (or even logged in) on the other site for years. This wasn't always true; I'm UID 700139 on the other site (registered sometime in 2003), and I was fairly active until 2009. Then I stopped. I didn't even post on the Audience Responses post. I've talked to others on IRC, and it turns out I'm not alone; a LOT of people who are active here were permanent lurkers on the other site.

I need to understand why to keep us a community, and to prevent us from just becoming a passive audience. If you're going to post on any story, let it be this one, and tell me your story. We need to know.
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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by calzone on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:16AM

    by calzone (2181) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:16AM (#23934) Journal

    It's not just replies to their own posts that are of concern.

    a) prevent any mods on a post that precedes your post in the same thread (backward all the way to the top)
    b) prevent any mods on parallel posts that share the same grandparent as your post, and any of their replies
    c) of course, prevent mods to replies to your posts

    roll back any such mods if the user posts... ideally give back the mod points instead of having them vanish into the ether

    --

    Time to leave Soylent News [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:27AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:27AM (#23940) Homepage Journal

      Complicated to code because of the way slash handles comments/parenting unless I ping the database a shit ton. That being said, changing the behavior to restore mod points may be the way to go here.

      This will require a behavioral logic that after X period of time, points are either not refunded, or rollbacks don't occur to prevent people from being able to get modpoints "on demand" so to speak.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheRaven on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:37AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:37AM (#23971) Journal
        Stick a thread id into the db then. Every new root comment gets a new one, every comment that is a reply inherits. No moderation if you've posted something with the same thread id as the one you're trying to modify.
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:56AM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:56AM (#23983) Homepage Journal

          ++, figure we can cache the value if need be in the database. We can write a slashd check to generate them retroactively by walking the parent on every comment to generate a thread id (which we can pin out somewhere on the comment bar). A good way to limit moderation to specific threads.

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by TheLink on Wednesday April 02 2014, @04:29AM

            by TheLink (332) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @04:29AM (#24615) Journal
            What I'd really prefer is the ability for users to hide an entire thread/branch for themselves alone. Some stories attract "the same old arguments" over and over again. So it will be useful if we can hide|close/unhide|expand threads/branches. Nice but not so important would be a way to toggle all the custom hiding. The hiding shouldn't persist- if you reload/leave the page it should all be forgotten- this should reduce server resource requirements.

            And back to the topic, I used to call the thread id stuff a "genealogy" - each comment would have a genealogy- which is actually all its ancestor's IDs concatenated together. The genealogy can get quite long though. So you might not want to do that sort of thing.

            I don't actually care much either way - modding and commenting on the same story or not. Even if you implement your "no mod on same thread" thing I bet you'd still have people creating multiple accounts to do so, so you could save a fair bit of work by just not allowing it and then the people who really want to do it will create multiple accounts :).

            But if you really want to go overboard and use lots of resources you could allow users to create "Points of Views" - then you can choose to see a discussion as modded by a particular Point of View. After some number crunching of all the PoVs with some fancy math that I don't know but mathematicians must have figured out years ago, you can probably generate Top X group PoVs. But this is probably more useful for something like NetFlix, Amazon, Ebay (which have the problem of not realizing that sometimes you're not picking stuff for yourself, but for your aunt/niece - it doesn't mean you want a zillion "My Little Pony" suggestions just because you bought one item - and it'll be helpful if you can go she likes X Y Z, hates ABC, and the site says ok try shopping with this PoV). But I digress :p.
      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Reziac on Wednesday April 02 2014, @10:12PM

        by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @10:12PM (#25199) Homepage

        I think the reason being unable to mod on a discussion where you've also posted is a concern is because post counts are still relatively small, making it easier to add to a discussion (feel more like you'll be heard) and discussions still need all the comments they can get... meaning LESS chance to spend mod points, because, well, *discussion*.

        Second, I'd be more likely to spend all my mod points over 3 days than over 4 or 8 or 24 hours. I take it seriously and I only mod up (a post must be truly egregious before I'll mod down, and I think that's happened all of twice in 15 years). I feel a responsibility to use them well, not to use them fast, and that conflicts with their short shelf life.

        Also, I think worrying over "reaching +5" is silly -- if anything, right now a lot of marginal and meh posts are winding up at +4 and +5, probably because the mod points expisre so fast that they're just being flung at the nearest halfway-intelligent comment, oft as not.

        In short, I'm good with the slashdot system; obviously it worked very well for a long time, and survived a number of upheavals and shifts in the userbase without becoming either a burden or a drawback to discussion. Let nature take its course and don't try to micromanage, and all will go well.

        (Been on the road 4 days and where do I come to catch up on the world? You guessed it. :)

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by naubol on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:29AM

      by naubol (1918) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:29AM (#23945)

      Uhh, so how about this, post distance is calculated as minimum number of moves from current post to another post, moves being going up to a parent or going down through to a child.

      Then, you say, you may not moderate any post that is within 5 moves of a post you made. Top level posts are considered not connected to each other.

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:00AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:00AM (#23956) Homepage Journal

        If I need flowcharts to explain why you can and can't moderate system, I think it fails the simplicity test. Moderation is supposed to be quick, easy, and painless, not requiring brain surgery, and a deluge of posts that "I can't moderate X"

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by FatPhil on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:36AM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:36AM (#24033) Homepage
          Simplicity good. How about:
          a) You can moderate a thread you've not posted to
          b) You can post to a thread you've moderated, the moderations will not be revoked
          but
          c) You cannot moderate anything in a story after you've posted.

          This encourages moderation as you have to hand them out early before you dive into the discussion.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 1) by crutchy on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:16AM

        by crutchy (179) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:16AM (#23995) Homepage Journal

        /me drives tractor over posts

      • (Score: 1) by Balderdash on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:26PM

        by Balderdash (693) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @06:26PM (#24390)

        Seven Degrees of Soylent Bacon?

        --
        I browse at -1. Free and open discourse requires consideration and review of all attempts at participation.
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:54AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:54AM (#24001) Journal

      I don't think a) is a good idea. Quite the opposite: I think it would be sometimes worthwhile to be able to both moderate and say in a reply why you moderated that way.

      The only problem that can arise from this is "comment highjacking" to get a prominent position without the parent post shown, but I think that should be addressed differently.

      One possibility would be to have replies to hidden posts be shown in the position where they would be if the hidden post weren't there, that is, if you moderate a post down to invisibility and answer to that post yourself, you'll get a position where your post would have ended up if you had replied to the parent of the post (or if posted top-level, if the post you replied to was a top-level post). This would remove the incentive of "comment hijacking" (and also would solve the problem for those cases where people reply to an already modded down post in order to get a high position, which cannot be solved by moderation restrictions art all).

      BTW, in relation to this: A feature I always had wished for is an option to always show the parents of displayed post, possibly collapsed but definitely not hidden, even if otherwise the post would have been hidden. The lack of that feature is the main reason I currently browse at -1 and just actively ignore any unwanted stuff.

      For (b) I have no idea what problem is to be solved, but I wouldn't object to that; I can imagine it hard to implement though.

      For (c), I fully agree.

      And of course, for completeness there has also to be

      d) You certainly should not be allowed to moderate your own posts.

      This is currently automatically covered by the rule of no moderation in stories you posted to, and therefore might be a trivial case to overlook; therefore it deserves an explicit mention although I'd expect it to be completely uncontroversal.

      BTW, Congratulations for the Soylent team to the design update. The site definitely looks better now! (I cannot say much about the functionality yet, but I'm sure it's much improved, too.)

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crolix on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:04AM

      by crolix (3777) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:04AM (#24021)

      roll back any such mods if the user posts... ideally give back the mod points instead of having them vanish into the ether

      Not sure about that last one. With a way to reuse the same mod points, people will be less careful with how they use them. I think it should be like posting a comment that you know you can't edit after you post it. It makes you think more carefully about what you post.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by lhsi on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:16AM

    by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:16AM (#23935) Journal

    Would it be possible to allow the mod-and-post in the same discussion only to users with a higher karma than is required for just moderating?

    Also, maybe the number of mod points given out could be tied to the level of karma (so just positive gets 5-10, a higher amount gets 10-15 for example)

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:28AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:28AM (#23942) Homepage Journal

      Very doable, and a good idea. Perhaps allow unrestricted mod/post to people who have capped? (I figure if you've been upmodded 100 times, you can be trusted not to abuse the privilege)

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:37AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:37AM (#23946) Journal

        (I figure if you've been upmodded 100 times, you can be trusted not to abuse the privilege)

        This is why you fail! Never underestimate the malice of trusted users. Not me, of course, I would never do such a thing. Seriously, and for real! Wait! . . . . . Carrier Lost. . . ###

        • (Score: 1) by Leebert on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:32AM

          by Leebert (3511) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:32AM (#24031)

          Don't trust ANYONE who isn't old enough to properly remember "NO CARRIER".

          +++ATH0

      • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:42AM

        by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:42AM (#23949) Journal

        Is the cap 50? I think you also get Karma for submitting stories so can presumably get it high just on that (but then I suppose that getting stories accepted is sort of like modding from editors).

        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:57AM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:57AM (#23953) Homepage Journal

          Karma is capped at 50 (it also bottoms out at -25). I actually have wanted to semi-gut the karma system and redo it so we can use for more things. Right now, once you hit cap, you've unlikely to ever go down. Implementing a karma-aging, and perks for high karma will probably keep people posting more frequently (I hope?)

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:25AM

            by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:25AM (#23964) Journal

            I hit 50 and stayed there for a while. Then someone disagreed with a comment I wrote on something and it went to 49, before going to to 50 again within a day or so, so I think you're right in practice.

            Is it possible to tweak how the over/underrated mods are used? I have seen a comment get "Overrated" before any other mods on it, which is effectively saying "This comment disagrees with my world view and I don't like it, even if it is correct". Maybe you could limit downmodding (either to only those with a certain level of Karma, or only one or two out of the ten can be used for downmodding - and only if you have already spent 5 of them or something).

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by zocalo on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:41AM

              by zocalo (302) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:41AM (#23972)
              I think it will also (currently) drop back from the cap if someone moderates one of your posts in a discussion and then posts themselves, thus requiring the moderation to be undone. The system presumably doesn't (and probably can't) check whether you were already at the Karma Cap when you got the mod point, so deducts the point(s) from your score regardless.
              --
              UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:45AM

                by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:45AM (#23976) Homepage Journal

                Looking at Comments.pm, that is indeed the case, but its such a minor edge case I suspect it was completely overlooked as the other site hides karma values (I incidentally found that this code is in the public release of slashcode. Incidentally, I found this code in our tree, and will post the cheatsheet of what karma values on the other site mean in raw numerical terms).

                --
                Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:30AM

            by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:30AM (#23966) Journal

            I did not know this, and thought my Karma of 47 was poor.

          • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:35AM

            by zocalo (302) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:35AM (#23970)
            Actually, I preferred the revamped Karma system on the other site. Behind the scenes I'm pretty sure it was still a numeric score, but all that really matters is what level of trust your current score puts you in. If there are a range of trust brackets, from "Troll" to "Buddha" say, then just telling people which bracket they are in should be good enough.

            Karma aging and perks sound like interesting concepts though. I think the rate and method of expiry could prove contentious, and it might lead to a lot of people posting mediocre stuff just to get a +1 to avoid the aging. In addition to perks, what about penalties; perhaps people with negative karma don't get to see (or just post in) stories until some time has elapsed? That should remove some of the "value" in troll accounts like the GNAA and so on since they wouldn't be able get first posts and so on except on new/anonymous accounts.
            --
            UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:52AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:52AM (#23980) Homepage Journal

              Unless they've changed it from 2009, the systems are identical. The only reason we show numeric values as we don't set the hide karma flag in the database. As defined by Slashcode, these are the values:

              -10=Terrible
              -1=Bad
              0=Neutral
              12=Positive
              25=Good
              99999=Excellent (I suspect this is a placeholder for when capped, but I need to check)

              Every moderation is worth 0.5 karma, and submissions are worth 3. Different moderations can give/take away different amounts of karma; this is defined as a database in the database. Incidently, its also possible to make some types of moderations cost multiple mod points to do (i.e., marking someone troll might cost two modpoints instead of one).

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 2, Informative) by Alphatool on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:29AM

                by Alphatool (1145) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:29AM (#24007)

                Please don't stop giving a numerical karma score. It's nice to have a clear number rather than a named category that could mean almost anything. One of the things I really like here is that details aren't hidden just to look good.

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:42AM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:42AM (#24012) Homepage Journal

                  On my (very long and growing) TODO list is to have a Transparency mod. Slash collects an absurd amount of information. Its on the list to try and decouple Stats.pm from the admin interface and allow anyone to look through our raw numbers, as well as having a user specific page where they can see various information about themselves, or if they've been banned/etc.

                  On the other site, you could be marked "-1 posting" or such and you'll never know it short by checking each of your posts. Staff on the other site for instance are marked +5, so their posts *always* show up no matter what. We leave it as the default for staff, though when we re-add the subscriber module, all staff will get subscriptions, so they'll get the +1 subscriber bonus right out of the gate.

                  --
                  Still always moving
                  • (Score: 1) by Alphatool on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:43PM

                    by Alphatool (1145) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:43PM (#24139)

                    Sounds fantastic, it's great that we'll be getting more information about what's going on rather than having it dumbed down like on many other sites.

                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:24AM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:24AM (#25295) Homepage

                    Firstoff, a small bug that seems new since 30 Mar, when last I was here (I was on the road, it's not my fault! :)

                    I click Reply (actually RClick & Open in new tab) and instead of being at the same font size as the page I came from, it's two sizes smaller.

                    I noticed immediately cuz I need the font set at 120%, and here it was back to default. SeaMonkey sets font on a per-site basis, so it's not a per-page-SM issue, far as I can tell. It had worked normally here until today (or some day since last Sat. anyway).
                    ======

                    In "stuff we can see", I like being able to see all the mods done to any of my comments.

                    I'm not sure what I think of karma aging... I think another reply has the right of it, that it's liable to encourage a certain type of karma-troll rather than make the rest of us 'work harder'. Good posters post because they have something to say; for good posters, karma is merely a nice byproduct, not the goal.

              • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:45AM

                by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:45AM (#24013) Journal

                99999=Excellent (I suspect this is a placeholder for when capped, but I need to check)

                My Karma on /. shows as "Excellent", however I don't know what the numerical value is.

              • (Score: 2) by TheloniousToady on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:30PM

                by TheloniousToady (820) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:30PM (#24071)

                Incidently, its also possible to make some types of moderations cost multiple mod points to do (i.e., marking someone troll might cost two modpoints instead of one).

                That one actually sounds like a very good idea. I think Troll is used too many times when Overrated would do the job (and is fairer - I've had things marked as Troll many times when I was just expressing my honest opinion), so it would be nice if the moderator paid an extra cost to use Troll, which, frankly is a bit offensive to those who receive it.

                • (Score: 1) by VanessaE on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:18PM

                  by VanessaE (3396) <vanessa.e.dannenberg@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:18PM (#24339) Journal

                  I'd upvote this with the caveat that moderators be given more than the bare minimum of 5 points, on a regular basis. If and when this site becomes popular enough, there will be far too many shit posts that will need modded into oblivion, just as a matter of course, making it too easy to run out of points that other good posts would otherwise be deserving of.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:28AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:28AM (#25297) Homepage

                And confirming the new reduced-font-size bug noted before. (Font returns to normal when the "Comment Submitted" page comes up.)

                Anyway: I suspect people who like to downmod also do a lot more of it. So, yeah, downmod being more 'expensive' might not be a bad thing -- might discourage groupthink.

                Well, you can always try it, and if it has unforeseen consequences, then ditch it.

                [We've kinda been taught by That Other Site that any change WILL be set in stone and will never ever be backed out. :( ]

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:12AM

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:12AM (#24005) Journal

              A delay for posting in a story if having negative Karma is definitely a good idea. One could also say that for anonymous and low positive Karma accounts, posting is possible immediately, but on "empty" stories (i.e. stories not yet having a post) takes effect only a minute after posting (so the post is in the database, but gets a time stamp of one minute in the future, and won't get displayed until that time arrived). That would greatly diminish the probability of getting first post with low or no Karma.

              (Also note that showing that posts exist as early as possible also reduces the number of attempted first posts, because if the existing posts are not visible, FP trolls are encouraged to try their luck, although they cannot succeed anyway.)

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
              • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:15PM

                by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:15PM (#24120) Homepage Journal

                There's a cleaner way to deal with this; I never want a user to be unable to post (short of us applying a ban due to a bot spamming). Subscribers can see the Mysterious Future, which I thought was kinda a lame perk of subscription on the other site, so I rather change it that people with high karma can see articles a bit before they go live. Not sure if I'll implement it, but one of many ideas ...

                --
                Still always moving
                • (Score: 2) by unitron on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:03PM

                  by unitron (70) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:03PM (#24271) Journal

                  That kind of gets into something I'd like, over there and here when here gets bigger.

                  Either subscribers or logged-in account holders (depending on whether there ever are subscriptions and of what, exactly they consist, get to see "firehose" stories and comment on them before the "unwashed masses" can, and when it turns into a regular story/goes live/whatever you want to call it, you don't put up another entry of the same story, you just change the classification of it, and the comments already made are still there.

                  People are, I would think, more likely, by and large, to load the story if there are already comments to read as well, since we're the kind of "audience" that comes here to listen to and talk with each other.

                  --
                  something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
                  • (Score: 3, Funny) by unitron on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:14PM

                    by unitron (70) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:14PM (#24278) Journal

                    ...if found, please return to parent of this post.

                     

                     

                    Oh, wait, here it is. It must have come unstuck and fallen down here.

                     

                                                                                                                            )

                    --
                    something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by gishzida on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:42AM

            by gishzida (2870) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:42AM (#23974) Journal

            Not so sure about this with the way some of the Moderators use their points as "I don't agree with you" Points.

            Karma should not be removed after it is earned... and capping it at 50 seems to be kinda evil... Having maxed Karma points means I should not want to post anything, make replies, or submit stories-- i.e. capping Karma may put users into "cruise mode" conversely forcing users who have previously displayed good behavior by "Karma aging" is a bad idea... Honey works better than Vinegar... unless your are trying to attract fruit flies. "Karma aging" smells of Vinegar.

            What to do instead?

            Karma is a reward for good behavior and a measure of "goodness" rather than "talkativeness" or "present and accounted roll call"... Maybe adding karmic "achievement levels" is better... Hit 50 and it rolls to the next level like a martial arts belt ranking... as the levels go higher the number to reach the next level goes up... maybe a hexadecimal rating... so step 1 is 80 (50 in hex) , step 2 is 256 (#100), Step 3 is 512 (#400), Step 4 is 2048 (#800) etc... This is intended as a "reward" for the high karma member to keep giving... Down mods count against the total Karma but the long term effect should be that High Karma members will continue to plod onward and upward.

            As to whether this ranking should be public is open to debate... but re-enforcing and rewarding good behavior is better for the site.

            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:48AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:48AM (#23978) Homepage Journal

              Hrm, I hadn't considered the possibility of making karma more work like XP in games leveling. That might actually be the way to do it; you need X upmods/positive actions to level up, and at specific levels, allow people to do shit, and perhaps make it easier to go down than up (i.e. if people start trolling with their accounts).

              The system was capped to prevent users from getting obscene amounts of karma, then being "immune" to down moderation. The devil is in the details as they say.

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Magic Oddball on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:31AM

                by Magic Oddball (3847) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:31AM (#24008) Journal

                After writing the below, it occurred to me that a "gamification" system like that would be best as an optional "challenge" for users, rather than mandatory. As a few comments demonstrate, some people love feeling challenged and will become disappointed if they reach the top -- but what they interpret as a fun challenge will seem more like a frustrating penalty to others.

                I have the bad feeling that a system like that could end up being great for a small number of power users, but harmful to the overall site.

                One potential bad side-effect is that users would feel "forced" to show up every day and comment a great deal. That sounds good at first, but there's at least two unpleasant consequences:
                a) Many users will react by producing a lot of shallow but acceptably positive comments just to meet the quota, so the site gets more quantity at the expense of quality.
                b) Some with very limited free time, and/or that prefer to leave just periodic thought-out/longer comments, will become frustrated and give up.

                In both cases, the site would eventually lose at least some of the users are primarily interested in those serious/longer comments.

                I admit my other concern is a bit on the paranoid-conspiracy side... If only users with karma over a certain amount can moderate, and karma drains over time, a small group of power users that become allies/friends could actually interfere with someone's ability to reach the magic number. I don't think that most current Soylenters would do something like that, but Slashdot has run into that sort of problem before, especially when controversial topics attract 'activist' new users that decide to stick around.

                Just my humble concerned opinion. :)

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:51AM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:51AM (#24016) Homepage Journal

                  Very good point. This post just got put in my scratchpad of things to keep in mind on working on this. The biggest problem is just having a karma system at all acts like a challenge (when we started, there was a race between the staff to see who could hit karma cap first).

                  That being said, for things like earning XP, I didn't intend to have it just earned by posting; you have to post, and get modded up to get XP; you don't get points for posting low quality stuff; it has to get upvoted for it to count with stronger XP award if it gets to +2/+3/+4/+5.

                  This might also be the way to get metamoderation to work, and moderators can earn XP by getting their moderations voted on, and metamods get XP for metamoderating itself. I don't want to tie the metamod data into the mod algo until its transparent to the user (black boxes are bad), but having a way to get feedback is a GOOD thing.

                  --
                  Still always moving
                • (Score: 1) by Rickter on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:45PM

                  by Rickter (842) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:45PM (#24208)

                  Perhaps you could track & display a person's number of +5 posts next to their name, along with a percentage or ratio of upmods v downmods.

                • (Score: 1) by VanessaE on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:53PM

                  by VanessaE (3396) <vanessa.e.dannenberg@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:53PM (#24363) Journal

                  I think the problem isn't so much whether a user has to grind to "level up", but what they get to DO when they get there. At the moment, there isn't really a whole lot to offer on this site (or the other one) because the feature set is kinda fixed to a degree. That said, I can see a few things that might work:

                  1. Allow editing of posts. Replied-to posts would need a metric assload of karma compared to a post with no replies.

                  2. Disable that G*d damned lameness filter (if we still use it, which I assume is the case) after a certain karma level is reached. Think crude ASCII-art diagrams where a discussion calls for it (but still limited in width and height).

                  3. Allow posting of embedded images within a reply (with the ability for any user to configure their account to reduce them to thumbnails, links, or just never show them).

                  4. If/when this site gets ads, allow them to be disabled for users beyond a certain karma level. The other site does something like this, but I get the impression that it's based more on the amount of time you've been there, rather than how good of a contributor you've been.

                  5. Everyone's always bitching about lack of Unicode support, and others have said in the past that the reason it's mostly disabled is because of trolls using right-to-left switches, non-breaking spaces, and other methods to disrupt the page layout, and so I guess it's filtered out at posting time. Whitelists are sort of a non-starter given just how big the Unicode space is, so why not just open up clear Unicode access to those who can be trusted not to abuse it?

                  6. Make it more difficult to mod-down someone whose karma is already sky high. I posted elsewhere that the 2-point-to-mod down idea was good, provided that moderators have enough points to ensure that good posts get adequate coverage, but maybe this should go a little further. Give users a minimum of 15 points; 1 point to mod anything up, as always. 1 to 4 points to mod down, depending on the karma of the person whose post is being modded.

                  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:29PM

                    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:29PM (#24426) Journal

                    5. Everyone's always bitching about lack of Unicode support, and others have said in the past that the reason it's mostly disabled is because of trolls using right-to-left switches, non-breaking spaces, and other methods to disrupt the page layout, and so I guess it's filtered out at posting time. Whitelists are sort of a non-starter given just how big the Unicode space is, so why not just open up clear Unicode access to those who can be trusted not to abuse it?

                    That may be true on the other site, where every Unicode character not on a very narrow whitelist is filtered out, but from the behaviour seen here, I think it's more of a problem with Slashcode interpreting the UTF8 byte stream differently than the browser encoded it. If using numeric entities, you can post almost unlimited Unicode (directionality markers seem to be filtered out, however).

                    --
                    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
              • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:53AM

                by gishzida (2870) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:53AM (#24017) Journal

                One added feature of this to be considered is that down mods have more effect for "up leveled" users.

                Let's consider an example: "Jane Moderator" has ten points... She sees that "George Shiny-Karma" has made a bad comment... She down mods him... she does not know he is a "leveled up user" [this is a reason why public ranking might be discouraged... Karma is personal and does not need to be advertised if a person has good Karma it will probably be obvious to other members of the community]. But here is "Shiny-Karma making a bad comment-- so She gives "Shiny-Karma" a down mod... but the effect on Shiny-Karma's points is in proportion to his karmic level.. so if he has hit the 100 point level, the down mod costs 2 points rather than 1 one point... if he is above 200 points in costs him 3 points and so forth...

                The idea here is that a "good" user will pay more heavily for bad behavior... but not terribly so unless the behavior continues. The net effect here is to try to suppress bad behavior at "high levels of Karma" while continuing to reward for good behavior... other added bonuses might be allowing high karmic users able to vote on the inbound article queues or other things that "proven good community member" can be "trusted" to do.

                Think of this "software project" is an "open source news and idea stream". How would you want to reward "commits" and discourage code trash and commentary sludge? Rewards for good behavior should be as good as punishments are bad.

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:05PM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:05PM (#24112) Homepage Journal

                  The trick here is though that if we have uncapped karma, you'd still need one hell of a hit to make it work, and if someone is vidictively downmodding, it could be UGLY.

                  My thought here is to have a second "recent karma" value that goes from -10 to 10, and caps at 10. At 5, you get the +1 bonus, at -5, you post at 0, and each period of aging (once a week?), the value moves closer to 0. This allows a disruptive user to get squelched, and allowed someone who's been vindictively downmodded to recover without loosing months/years of progress.

                  --
                  Still always moving
                  • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Wednesday April 02 2014, @07:29AM

                    by lhsi (711) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @07:29AM (#24650) Journal

                    if someone is vidictively downmodding, it could be UGLY

                    Is it possible/feasible to prevent someone from modding the same user account more than once with the same set of points? I generally prefer the idea of making downmods "cost" more, or restricting them to only one or two downmods per set of points, but limiting downmods to a user could also be considered.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:27AM

              by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:27AM (#24027) Journal

              Not so sure about this with the way some of the Moderators use their points as "I don't agree with you" Points.

              Yes, to me (and others [soylentnews.org]) that is currently the biggest problem in the realm of moderation. Here's [soylentnews.org] one example and some discussion that followed, including alternative ideas for changing the moderation system.

              If anything, I think changing !(post^moderate) would probably make matters worse.

               
              NCommander said:

              We've seen plenty of posts get up to +5, which means 3-4 people gave up their right to post to keep our comments high quality.

              So this proposed change is intended to increase the number of comments? Is it a response to the perceived low number of comments? Personally I just have a quick think before moderating in any story: am I likely to want to comment on this? It's rare for me to change my mind subsequently, and thus be inconvenienced by this rule, so in my case, changing the rule wouldn't increase the number of comments very much.

              I admit, I do believe the rule is a bit of a blunt instrument. Some kind of system that lets you comment and moderate the same story fairly would be a nice-to-have. But I think we'd probably need meta-moderation first.

               
              I think [soylentnews.org] the only way we're really going to get more comments-per-story is by getting more users.

              • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:25PM

                by gishzida (2870) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:25PM (#24185) Journal

                I have to agree with you... Writing a comment on a post you've already moderated or vice versa seems to be the wrong way to go... also allowing the use of mod points as "i don't agree with you points" needs to be addressed... To accept the moderator points there is a price... One is not posting on things you are judgeing and two (at least for me) biting my tongue when a yammer-head makes a statement that makes me cringe... but even yammer-heads are allowed to have opinions and so I resist the temptation to down mod... in fact I'm not sure that having down mods helps... Down mods do nothing "positive" when it is used simply for the purpose of saying I don't agree...

                If we are not going to do something about moderators "editorializing" then at least make it clear and add "I Agree +1" and "I Disagree -1" to the list of moderation options. Then at least those being victimized by a disagreeable moderator will know exactly why they got down modded... I'm sorry but over-rated or redundant tells me exactly nothing as to the Moderator's thoughts.

                Since the 5 point cap on a single comment is an artificial, remove comment cap and eventually the cream rises to the top.

            • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:10PM

              by wjwlsn (171) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:10PM (#24057) Homepage Journal

              Lots of good comments about down-moderation issues (and potential fixes) here:
              http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=923 [soylentnews.org]

              --
              I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RobotMonster on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:45AM

            by RobotMonster (130) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:45AM (#23975) Journal

            I've been at the 50 cap for awhile, which has been making me wish the cap was higher so I had a score to "game".

            Perhaps some kind of exponential system would be cool -- when you're at 50-100, it takes 10 up-mods to go up by 1 Karma, but still only 1 down-mod to go down by 1. When you're over 100, it takes 100 up-mods to go up by 1, and still only 1 down-mod to go down by 1?

            Thinking it through, it's probably a bad plan, but might inspire somebody else with a better idea?

            Perhaps a separate score which is the ratio of up-mods to down-mods, just for display/vanity?

            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:54AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:54AM (#23981) Homepage Journal

              Slash saves every moderation in a log (editors can see this log; its designed to allow us to prevent moderation abuses), so generating a "spread" so to speak is possible. I'm liking the idea of gamifying karma, that you have to level up, and at specific levels, you get various perks on the site (as to what that may be, I'm unsure).

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 2) by RobotMonster on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:06AM

                by RobotMonster (130) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:06AM (#24004) Journal

                Yeah, gamifying karma is definitely where my head was at. I don't know that you need perks as such -- badges and other useless honourifics, along with some stats would satisfy me.

                In the interests of encouraging more comments & lively discussion, perhaps a user can earn "points" (not necessarily Karma) based on how many replies each of their comments receives, either just first-level replies, or the entire sub-tree if feasible. -- i.e. a reward for encouraging more comments to be posted.

                Similarly for story submissions, you could get points related to how many posts were generated by your stories.

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:38AM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:38AM (#24010) Homepage Journal

                  We have the Achievements system which works (though the HTML for it was missing; re-adding that won't be hard), though I always found it to be kinda stupid. I *like* video game achievements, but I'm not sure how you could have actual achievements on this site and not be stupid or repetitive (like being upmodded 1000/5000/10000 times). I may open the floor to this once I get this discussion summarized.

                  --
                  Still always moving
                  • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:42PM

                    by cmn32480 (443) <reversethis-{gro ... {ta} {08423nmc}> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:42PM (#24205) Journal

                    This type of achievement is how a lot of systems work. My Fitbit (hi-tech pedometer) is the one that comes to mind most readily.

                    It is kinda like lifetime achievement badges. On my Fitbit, it tracks for lifetime numbers of steps, lifetime staircases climbed, most steps in a particular day, and a few other things. Getting badge is a small ego boost and encourages continued participation.

                    I know the achievements system exists, but I don't know a whole lot about it. My $0.02 is a small thing like lifetime tracking is a nice little ego boost, and if we can be given the option to make it public or not, so much the better. As long as the achievements are achievable for the common Soyler (so as not to discourage those of us who lurk and occasionally post), it might be worth looking at.

                    --
                    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
              • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:26AM

                by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:26AM (#24006) Journal

                ... you get various perks on the site (as to what that may be, I'm unsure)

                I'd like the ability to view more than just the last 24 of mine & other people's comments.

                Currently I go to something like http://soylentnews.org/~NCommander/ [soylentnews.org] and see "NCommander's Latest 24 of 146 Comments", with no apparent way of getting the remaining 122 comments.

                I'm not missing anything am I? Shall I submit it as a feature request? For the time being it could be just for users with Karma > 42 or something

                 
                And maybe there are other operations that take up more than their fair share of computing resources that could be made into perks.

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:39AM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:39AM (#24011) Homepage Journal

                  I believe this is a side effect of the fact that we don't have the subscription module installed, combined with Sphinx still being broken (two staff have fought with it, and yet to get it to work). I'll put this on the bug tracker, though I'm concerned it might do horrid things to the DB ...

                  --
                  Still always moving
                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:47AM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:47AM (#25305) Homepage

                    I too would love to see "older comments" when I check someone out. I've already run up against the current inability a couple times. :(

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by bitweeder on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:50AM

            by bitweeder (247) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:50AM (#23979)

            Since karma is a proxy for reputation, I like the idea of it bleeding away without active maintenance. I also like the idea that only high-karma types are trusted to comment and moderate; it doesn't have to get more complicated than that. Of course, I only like this idea if it's in conjunction with implementing karma deflation.

            FWIW, I don't post. Ever. I just don't have much to say most of the time. But I do mod pretty actively. It would be nice to have a metamoderation system incarnate here, especially if it granted karma to good moderators - to tie back into that whole "reputation proxy" thing...

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:02AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:02AM (#23988) Homepage Journal

              We *do* have the metamoderation code, but its somewhat knackered; I could probably fix it if I put my mind to it. I always got the opinion *very* few people metamodded, and even then, due to the way the old algo worked, I'm not sure it was ever effective. It might be worth enabling it and letting values build up in the database, though I was considered scrapping the feature for something a bit more automated (i.e., if a post had +4 upmods, and one downmod, that would be the equivelent of a negative metamoderation).

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 1) by Roo_Boy on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:16AM

                by Roo_Boy (1762) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:16AM (#23994)

                When ever I had the opportunity to metamod "over there" I usually did but one of the failings I often noticed was that it could be hard to determine if the moderation was justified without seeing the thread in more context.

                It would be possible to click on the parent and then read the whole thread but it seemed like a bit of a chore for something that should be reasonably quick to do.

                Of course I also wouldn't want to see all bajillion threads in some monster topic either, again a bit of a chore, so perhaps just the parent and grandparent of the comment in question?

                --
                --- The S.I. prototype "Average Punter" is kept in a tube of inert gas in Geneva.
                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:18AM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:18AM (#23996) Homepage Journal

                  Once you became elligable for metamod, you could always metamod on the other site, there was no limit; and while its been ages since I metamodded, I remember it being much the same.

                  --
                  Still always moving
              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:48AM

                by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:48AM (#23998) Homepage Journal

                Automatic meta-moderation: I've thought about that as well, but...lemmings. You don't want to encourage group-think.

                - Sometimes at the other site I've seen a thought-provoking post buried with "flamebait" and "troll". I've spent the odd mod-point trying to get it back up where people might see it.

                - The flip-side isn't really any prettier: Someone espouses an easy, PC point and collects an easy +5. I have been known to be a grouch and and give a "-1 overrated".

                Mind, I'd still do both of these things even if I get a penalty for it - but I won't be able to do many of them - and there would be that extra psychological barrier.

                Do we really need metamoderation? Especially if you gamify the karma a bit. It shouldn't age *too* fast - sometimes life happens and someone is away for a couple of weeks - but over the course of months, I think this is a stunningly good idea.

                --
                Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:53AM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:53AM (#23999) Homepage Journal

                  I've come to the conclusion that moderation was brilliant only in the fact that it was a solid concept. I felt much of the underlying math and assumptions using to underpin the system simple are fundamentally wrong.

                  I've written pretty heavily about why I think slashdot's old moderation algo is busted and have gone through a lot of lengths to justify the changes I made here. I *do* read every comment, email, and post on articles I post, and I frequently comment on all of them. I've already got a LOT of good feedback on this, including another thing to poll the community about (which I'm going to write up for Thursday or Friday).

                  --
                  Still always moving
              • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:07AM

                by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:07AM (#24023) Journal

                Would it be a good idea to figure out what needs metamoderation first? I often get the impression that "Overrated" mods (or the downmods in general) are used when someone disagrees with something, but can't refute it in a comment (and don't want to add a comment repudiating it lest they look silly), so "punish" the poster with a downmod.

                If this is the case then metamoderation would just be showing a list of comments that got a downmod (including what the previous score was) to see whether it was correct to downmod or not.

                Someone would have to look over what moderations are actually happening to determine whether this or something else actually needs focus, however.

                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:11PM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:11PM (#24116) Homepage Journal

                  I've never really liked overrated/underrated, especially because they ARE immune to metamoderate (metamoddable is set to 0 in the DB). I realize they serve a purpose, but I feel like its something that can be handled in a better way ...

                  I'm open to ideas on this.

                  --
                  Still always moving
                  • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:35PM

                    by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:35PM (#24135) Journal

                    I don't think I've ever used underrated, so I would be in favour of just removing it. I would say that overrated should only be enabled if a post has had 1 or 2 positive mods already*. If a moderator wants to use a downmod on a post with no other mods, they have to have a reason for it (and the other downmods are easier to see if someone is abusing the moderation system)

                    *maybe something like

                    if (positiveMods - negativeMods) > 1

                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:41AM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:41AM (#25300) Homepage

                    Unlike the other poster, I have used 'underrated' often enough. Its meaning to me is kinda "none of these other upmods really fits, but it deserves to be seen, so... 'underrated' it is."

                    'Overrated' seems most often used to mean 'I disagree' but I'm still not sure it should go away.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:38AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:38AM (#25299) Homepage

                I don't think you can automate it, as all four +1 might be full of shit, while the single -1 might have a clue. You just can't know.

                I tried metamodding for a while, and could not see the point of it. A 'peer review' system where peer means 'anyone who wanders past often enough' will be by its nature unfair, and since the 'fix' (metamod) didn't seem to actively do anything... why bother? so I quit doing it.

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:03AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:03AM (#24003) Journal

            Karma aging is definitely a good idea, although I'd keep a stock level (say, any Karma between -5 and +5 never changes without explicit action, and if you are above 5/below -5, you cannot get beyond those thresholds except through explicit actions). I mean, someone who has posted great stuff in the past but then left for a year should definitely have an advantage over those trolling a lot and then leaving for a year.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:36AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:36AM (#24009) Homepage Journal

              Already on my scratchpad for things to implement. The objective here is to keep a competition w.r.t. to scores and such, while not rendering users invulnerable to downmods. Once this drops off the main index, I'm going to sit down, compile this into an actual blueprint, and see on what it will take to get it implemented, as well as letting everyone pound on it.

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:50AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:50AM (#24015)

                Another thing to think of is measures to make moderators more aware of the fact that they are doing mainly a service to the readers, not to the posters. Too many people consider mainly the effect their moderation does on the authors (affecting their Karma, giving them feedback), and due to this for example don't moderate up AC posts by principle (because the AC won't profit from that anyway, or because they are generally anti-AC). But the main point of moderation is to have good posts stand out for the reader, while at the same time saving the reader from having to sift through the bad posts. That is, the moderators should have mainly the reader in mmind when moderating, not the author.

                I have no idea how that could be encouraged (other than by trying to educate the moderators whenever they publicly say something about having such a policy), but every step in the direction of encouraging the moderators to consider the readers before the authors when deciding on moderation would be a good step.

                • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:25PM

                  by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:25PM (#24290) Homepage

                  It is outlined in the first few sentences of the Moderation Guidelines. [soylentnews.org]

                  Maybe we should make a big link to this doc the first few times a user receives mod points.

                  --
                  (Score:1^½, Radical)
                • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:45AM

                  by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:45AM (#25304) Homepage

                  Well, one way to encourage sifting thru AC posts might be to only charge half a point to mod AC comments. OTOH, that could make downmodding 'cheaper'. :(

                  Personally I don't pay much attention to the userID, or lack of, when I mod. I was amused the other day to discover I'd given an upmod to a friend's post without realising it was his handiwork.

      • (Score: 1) by monster on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:51PM

        by monster (1260) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:51PM (#24262) Journal

        If you allow both posting and moderating, please implement some way to "flag" abuses in a future metamoderation function. Even max-karma users should be oversighted.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:02PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:02PM (#24050)

      In a past discussion I wanted Karma expressed as decibels referenced to AC rather than an absolute power level. An uncap it. So I'm coasting along at +17 dBK0AC or 17 dB Karma above AC. And then you could express rules as "block all posts with an absolute Karma level of 5 dB below AC" or "+1 display posts by authors with a relative dB Karma level at least 3 dB over my Karma level".

      Depending how smart they are, it takes a noob to the telecom fields only a short length of time to get used to this stuff. Biggest problem is some fields going total power for zero ref and some fields going voltage for zero ref, but we've got the obvious selection for zero ref of Anonymous Coward.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by isostatic on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:38AM

    by isostatic (365) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:38AM (#23948) Journal

    When there's only 10-15 posts on most stories, they don't need moderation, just show them all.

    By all means have moderation on the occasional story with 40+ posts, but by default don't allow moderation of stories with few posts.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:58AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:58AM (#23955) Homepage Journal

      The average comments per day per article swings anywhere from 10 to 40, and I suspect we'll get to the point that moderation will become absolutely mandatory in the future ...

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by TheRaven on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:41AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:41AM (#23973) Journal
        Something in the structure of the site seems to be discouraging comments, and that's a far more serious issue. Given that we frequently have more editors than comments on a story, I can only assume that either:
        • Editors are posting stories that they are not interested in (if so, why?)
        • Editors are not actually reading the site (if so, why are they editors?)

        Unless you have a few people getting the discussions going, everyone else just comes, sees stories with few comments, and goes away without even reading them. I tried for a couple of weeks to make sure I posted on several stories every day, but without the staff making an effort to make the site a success, it becomes demoralising. I'm now back to spending more time reading Slashdot than Soylent (I intentionally didn't visit it at all for two weeks to give this place a chance). And all I see from the staff is twiddling with algorithms, not addressing the fact that your only major community involvement has been to have a temper tantrum in public (which did generate a lot of comments, but not in a good way).

        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:00AM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:00AM (#23986) Homepage Journal

          The question been asked in a couple of threads, though perhaps a general QA here is needed on the topic. At the moment, we get on average between 300-400 comments per day, dipping into the 200s over the weekend, and then higher towards the end of the week. Based on Slashdot's public views/comments total, we're averaging about 10% of their traffic w.r.t. to comments per day, though our community is *considerably* smaller (just north of 4000 accounts).

          I'm not sure its the site itself that makes it problematic to post, but I'll ask the question.

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:30PM

            by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:30PM (#24297) Homepage

            Also, staff are quite busy trying to keep the site running and move it forward. I assure you the editors make a great effort to read the site as much as possible.

            From my own limited experience as an editor, I like to let the comments play out on their own; I try to fade into the background. Hearing that editors should comment more is an interesting development on my end.

            --
            (Score:1^½, Radical)
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:51AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:51AM (#25308) Homepage

            The site is still young. Give it a chance to grow as it will. Cripes, at the same age and likewise depending on word of mouth, /. probably had no more than 4000 accounts either.

        • (Score: 2) by chromas on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:33AM

          by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:33AM (#23997) Journal

          Since when is twiddling with algorithms not News for Nerds? And don't discredit tantrums, which are responsible for generating 2,219 comments on a single CyanDot post. SN needs those ad currencyUnits!

        • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:58PM

          by isostatic (365) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:58PM (#24152) Journal

          I'd post more if the Karma Cap was removed :D

  • (Score: 1) by dentonj on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:55AM

    by dentonj (1309) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:55AM (#23982)

    Is it possible to restrict comments and moderation within the same set of nested comments? Someone can not moderate in a nested set of comments that they already have a comment in? Or someone is not able comment in a nested set of comments that they have previously moderated in?

  • (Score: 1) by Bartman12345 on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:56AM

    by Bartman12345 (1317) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:56AM (#24002)

    I also like the idea of "levelling up" as karma is accrued. Perhaps certain amounts of karma could endow a user with a "title", like some other forums do, which could be displayed along with their UID in comments, so we could see at a glance where they are in the SN pecking order.

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:45PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:45PM (#24311) Journal

      I'll second this. Say, for example, a user posts a lot in Science stories, gets several +5's. Give them a "science initiate" title. More +5's (particularly weighted towards "informative"?), "science guru". Stuff like that.

      I think it would be an alternative way of having some kind of authoritative voices involved in discussion, kind of like having accredited experts (i.e. have a degree) which could be valuable once we get enough posts that the threads need moderating to follow easily.

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by theluggage on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:48AM

    by theluggage (1797) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:48AM (#24014)

    First, mod points now expire after eight hours.

    Unless I'm missing something, anything less than 24 hours is surely going to exclude large numbers of people based on where they live and/or their sleeping and working habits - and could bias the population of moderators.

    Or will you arrange for the points to be awarded at random (by design, not by accident) times throughout the day?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:53AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:53AM (#24018) Homepage Journal

      Points are awarded only to users who are currently logged in, and work in a LIFO system, so if you haven't gotten mod points in awhile, then log in, you'll get them within five minutes if you meet all other critera (currently positive karma, 80% of oldest accounts)

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by theluggage on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:39AM

        by theluggage (1797) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:39AM (#24035)

        OK, that's fine.
        P.S. Sorry for using the A-word in the subject line - bit of a brainfart there.

      • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:10PM

        by MrGuy (1007) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:10PM (#24056)

        Thanks for the clarification.

        I still think 8 hours are too little, unless we have a really good reason to make them expire that quickly.

        My use case may or may not be typical, but I typically check SN in the morning before I go to work, read a few stories, then go to work. After work, I have time to check in again (and maybe read/moderate stories that I only glanced at earlier or that are new). I've more than once been awarded mod points in the AM, then when I went back in the afternoon with time to use them have found they've already expired.

        I'd really like to see ~16 hours, personally. YMMV.

        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:09PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:09PM (#24114) Homepage Journal

          When the site first launched, the value was set at 24 hours. The problem was that we got stuck with people hoarding points, and the new algo needs points going in/out (it tries to maintain X points at all times, so its dependent on rapid expiration, or people using points). Dropping it down to 4 was an emergency fix until I could get around to revising the mod algo.

          Unfortunately, when I wrote it, I had no hard numbers to work again, and its working on some faulty assumptions. I keep putting rewrite on the list, but its not SUPER high priority.

          --
          Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by SlySmiles on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:14PM

        by SlySmiles (3841) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:14PM (#24118)
        80% of oldest accounts: Can you clarify this?
        Also is there a timeout on the logins? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a browser open all the time with 20 tabs active.
        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:39PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:39PM (#24137) Homepage Journal

          The system considers you active if you've clicked within five minutes; a timestamp in the backend is updated with every page refresh. As for accounts, its basically max_uid*0.8 for eligibility.

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 1) by SlySmiles on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:54PM

            by SlySmiles (3841) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:54PM (#24149)

            so you're penalising 20% of your users for no apparent reason, good job sonny...

            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:08PM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:08PM (#24160) Homepage Journal

              This is true on the other site as well; this variable is the default in Slash. We've set it so there's a slight delay from when a user first signs up, and then gets handed modpoints.

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 1) by SlySmiles on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:15PM

                by SlySmiles (3841) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:15PM (#24232)
                A time/activity counter would be more appropriate than their uid/max, what happens if sign ups slow down after a relatively high initial sign up, for example 5000 people join, then it slows; you then need 1000 more people to sign up before before they can moderate. Making it karma/activity based wouldn't penalise unfairly.
                Saying some-one else does it that way as well is not an excuse for saying it's acceptable. It's a less than ideal algorithm that locks out 20% of your user base from moderating. So to clarify, is it a 'slight delay' or are you permanently shutting out 20% (moving window) from moderating?
                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:28PM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:28PM (#24246) Homepage Journal

                  I had a hole which pre-existed for the moderation algorthim, and at the time, very little idea how slash works. This code was written three days into the slashcott during madness. I've jotted this down for v2 of the algorthim, but until now, this is a stopgap until I can sit down, rework the math, and get it better.

                  --
                  Still always moving
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:42PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:42PM (#24435) Journal

        I think the main problem is that the selection for mod points is asynchronous (if I understand it right). That is, the user accesses the site, and gets no mod points yet. Then, while the user is reading, he gets mod points, but doesn't see them because he doesn't reload the site (there's no need to do so, because he's still busy reading the current version). He may even then quit reading for now. Then, at a later time, he again accesses SN, and gets a message that he has mod points. But they are to expire soon (because all the time they were sitting there without him knowing anything about that).

        I think the right thing to do is to only tentatively give mod points in the asynchronous process, but really activate them only the next time he loads a page (so at that time — the first time he can learn about them — he gets the full period).

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 1) by CoolHand on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:49AM

    by CoolHand (438) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:49AM (#24041) Journal

    Dang, I was expecting this to be an April Fool's joke, but it seems pretty serious...
    (disappointment not in this subject of mod/posting specifically, since I have mixed views on that, but I just thought when I saw a post from Ncommander on 4/1 at 3am that it was going to be something clever and funny...) oh, well...

    --
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 1) by CoolHand on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:51AM

      by CoolHand (438) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:51AM (#24043) Journal

      Umm...
      I hadn't made it to the "We Sold Out: SoylentNews Is Now SoylentMuffins!" story yet...

      Now I feel better :)

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:14PM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:14PM (#24060) Journal

    First, mod points now expire after eight hours. I'm willing to extend this to 12 or 16 hours after I'm sure comments will still reach +5 fairly regularly. With luck, we'll get to the point we can extend mod-points to last a full 24 hours which I suspect will end most of the complaining on them vanishing too soon.

    I think mod points should ideally not be saved up for use on the moderator's favourite stories. Fast expiry doesn't eliminate that, but it does reduce it - which is good enough.

    Any Soylent user should be capable of moderating comments on the majority of stories, so as soon as they get mod points they can dive right in and use up their points straight away. If they are too busy at that time, never mind, they'll get another chance in the future, and there are other people who can moderate today.

    I know the expiry of points is tough psychologically, because it feels like you've wasted them. But actually the system can be (and I suspect already is) designed so that the overall amount of moderation happening is fairly constant, even on days when a higher proportion than normal of users failed to use their points.

    So to people who complain about it, I say don't worry. I don't think anything bad happens if your mod points expire. The electrons are recycled :)

     
    Also, I don't personally consider it of huge importance for comments to get to +5. I consider moderation a bit of a chore, so it would be easy just to go in with a +4 filter threshold and push most of them up to +5. But I try not to. I'm happy to leave a comment's score at +4 if it's good-but-not-that-good, even if it means I then have to open up more stories to finish my duty of using up those mod points. Should I reconsider?

    • (Score: 2) by kebes on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:55PM

      by kebes (1505) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:55PM (#24150)

      dive right in and use up their points straight away

      That advice may be misinterpreted by some people. For instance, I sometimes have mod points and open up a story, and read all the comments... and then don't make a single moderation. This is because I'm trying to avoid the 'early mod-up' effect. For instance, the first comments to a story may not end up being anywhere near the best comments once more time has passed. But moderators may feel the impulse to mod-up the best comment posted so far, even if it's not particularly insightful or useful. This leads to highly-rated comments that are lacklustre. (They are not necessarily bad, but perhaps not the best.)

      In other words, I think the criteria for up-moderation should be 'this comment is genuinely good/useful', and not merely 'this is the best comment I've seen so far'. If a given comment thread ends up having no highly-rated comments, that's not necessarily wrong (maybe there were no worthy comments).

      Modding in the way I suggest does mean that mod-points sometimes expire without being used. And it does mean that there are fewer highly-rated comments. But in principle it means that the visible comments are of higher quality. So I think it's worth it.

      I agree with when you say "open up more stories to finish my duty of using up those mod points"... I think the general moderation task should be of the form: "Keep going back through stories until you find worthy comments". I.e.: don't just moderate the first few stories (that have few comments and few moderations), but instead keep going back in the post history looking for worthy comments until you run out of modpoints.

      • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:06PM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:06PM (#24158) Journal

        Yes, I think we are broadly in agreement about the approach to moderation, and that the wording I chose might be misinterpreted.

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:24PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:24PM (#24183) Homepage Journal

      The other site allows mods to do this since it lasts for 3 days. Furthermore, once an article gone down a few spots, moderation and posting drop considerably, followed by mod counts.

      You're doing the right thing by finding comments to moderate, but for the mod system to work, it really has to cater to the LCD, and the numbers don't suggest that most people do this. I need to write some code that dumps the moderator log, and gets exact numbers so I can rewrite the algo sanely.. Mod points were never intended to be as short shelflife as they are now, the system worked well at 24 hours right up until we got too many people not promptly using points. Until I rework the math with the new information in the comment DB, the mod algo breaks horridly if the expiration is too high.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:07PM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:07PM (#24224) Journal

        Furthermore, once an article gone down a few spots, moderation and posting drop considerably, followed by mod counts.

        Maybe we shouldn't get to choose which stories we are given the option of moderating? "You have moderator access. Would you be willing to moderate this story? [HeadlineOfSomeStory] Click here to view this story in moderator mode. ..."

        I do like this idea, but I admit it's probably too much of a change from the status quo. People would object.

         

        I need to write some code that dumps the moderator log, and gets exact numbers so I can rewrite the algo sanely.

        Yes, well real data certainly trumps opinions - even my opinions :)

        There's probably no such thing as a perfect moderation system - as much as we all may enjoy theorizing about one. So I guess the aim should be to spend as little time as possible getting a mod system that's good enough, based on the real world situation that the site finds itself in at the time. As such, maybe I have to rule out the idea that I've mentioned 4 paragraphs up.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by clone141166 on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:35PM

    by clone141166 (59) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:35PM (#24077)

    My advice would be to go slow and keep repeating very frequently that all changes are temporary on the path to true moderation enlightenment.

    No matter what you change you will end up disappointing or upsetting some group of people. And I also guarantee that no matter what you change, some other group of people will find a way to exploit it. That said, slow, gradual improvements can be a good thing if done with care.

    Dumping too much change on users all at once can cause confusion, anger and ultimately revolt (@see /. beta).

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:17PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:17PM (#24172) Homepage Journal

      This was the plan from the getgo. It got slightly delayed due to drama, but it peeked ontop of my TODO list again, and decided today was a great day for site announcements.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by clone141166 on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:59PM

        by clone141166 (59) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:59PM (#24488)

        Thanks, you have done a great job so far btw! My intention wasn't to imply otherwise :) Time to get me some more BaconNews.

  • (Score: 1) by RaffArundel on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:54PM

    by RaffArundel (3108) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:54PM (#24101) Homepage

    I'm not saying you shouldn't make change, but what is your goal? What problem are you trying to solve?

    If it is simply beecause the site-which-must-not-be-named had it, and your users expect it - make the code stable and move on.

    If you want to improve the quality of the discussion (or pessimistically, reinforce the group-think) give more mod points and the ability to do things (like mod a thread you commented in) based on karma.

    If you want more participation hand out mod points like candy, expire them quickly, and let anyone mod whatever. Throw in some gamification and be done with it.

    I haven't noticed any abuses, so it there really an "issue" that needs to be solved?

    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:49PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:49PM (#24145) Journal

      What problem are you trying to solve?

      Not enough comments-per-story?

      I haven't noticed any abuses, so it there really an "issue" that needs to be solved?

      I've commented above (#24027 [soylentnews.org]) that I don't think this change would make too much difference to comments-per-story. And there are some abuses, but this might make them more frequent.

       
       
      Instead of these particular moderation changes, I like the suggestion I've seen (at least once [soylentnews.org]) for moderation previews. If this was an option in the preferences, I'd enable it.

      On the preview screen, if you were about to do any down-mods, it could have a reminder: "remember, don't down-mod just because you disagree".

      It could also inform you if there had been any other moderations on the comments since you loaded the previous page.

      And maybe if you didn't have enough points for all your moderations, it would let you choose which ones to go ahead with.

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:12PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:12PM (#24167) Homepage Journal

      The problem here is moderation had some fundamentally broken aspects to it, which is why the mod point algo had a rewrite before we went live. I wrote a small novel going into detail why the old algo was broken and we scrapped it. The four hour limit was an emergency change. The algo I wrote has some off assumptions which I'm going to fix for v2, but moderate^post was brought up several times in previous stories, so I wanted to open the floor to getting feedback on improvement as someone who moderates will feel a pressure NOT to post as to not undo moderations (I've seen rare posts on the other site that they posted undoing mods because they felt strongly on it)

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by RaffArundel on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:44PM

        by RaffArundel (3108) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:44PM (#24460) Homepage

        I wanted to open the floor to getting feedback on improvement

        I'm sure that is appreciated since many of us are expats because the lack of concern for the feedback on that other site. It looks like this has more than the normal number of comments, by a wide margin, so you got it.

        someone who moderates will feel a pressure NOT to post as to not undo moderations (I've seen rare posts on the other site that they posted undoing mods because they felt strongly on it)

        Let 'em post AC! Gawds forbid they can't swing around that low UID to make whatever point they felt they needed to both mod and support/attack!

        Seriously, I don't particularly care since I'm not a heavy poster nor feel strongly about modding - my points came and went without anything standing out during that time to use them on. If I were food in the fridge, I'd let people mod everything except their own post. I'd also give anyone with positive karma mod points often, that don't expire rapidly. I wouldn't add limitations until there was a compelling reason to do so. It would be interesting to see what the community does, especially while still small.

  • (Score: 1) by tempest on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:13PM

    by tempest (3050) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:13PM (#24169)

    I think the 1-5 system is too shallow once the site has grown. Posting with a karma bonus starts at +2 then only requires two mods to get to +5. If a few people are still reading through the comments, they may all see the same comment at +2 and push it to +5 if they otherwise wouldn't. Karma bonus makes the problem slightly worse, so I'd eliminate that.

    I'd start comments at 3 (neutral) and scale down to 1, and up to 10. So
    2 -> 4
    3 -> 6
    4 -> 8
    5 -> 10

    Or something like that. This would give people a little more control over filtering, allocating more modpoints without flooding the system, and further differentiate the quality of posts.

    I also really like the idea of a XP based system based off your total score, with each level requiring more karma. But I think for many of us, we just don't like the "stuck at 50 points" thing.

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:20PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:20PM (#24176) Homepage Journal

      Most people don't mod down. This was one of the false assumptions my rewritten mod point algo based on, assuming more mods would go down than up (which is roughly true on the other site). I'll have to dig the raw numbers out, but the Troll/Overrated/Flamebait mods are *drastically* lower than upmods. If we start at 3 or 1, it would make no fundamental difference. Posts don't go down unless they're really asking for it.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by tempest on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:27PM

        by tempest (3050) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:27PM (#24188)

        Looking at my post I'm not sure those numbers line up, but you know what I'm getting at. I think 1-2 point downward point slots is good for filtering purposes. Probably one point less for posting anonymously, and the lowest level for truly troll posts.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:09PM (#24275)

        I would like to see changes to the moderation system that favor Anonymous Cowards a little bit more (like the one suggested here). We don't have too many trolls on the site (yet), but we do have people who want to participate without creating accounts. I know I've felt a disincentive to post with the current system. All it takes is one person who doesn't get the joke or disagrees with me, and I'm down to negative one and the comment is never seen again.

        Please consider Anonymous Cowards in your rewrite. Most users who support the site start out as Anonymous Cowards, and some stay that way.

        • (Score: 1) by clone141166 on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:17PM

          by clone141166 (59) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:17PM (#24498)

          Interesting point. I will point out the obligatory/obvious fact that you can easily register an account while maintaining some degree of anonymity - it's not like you have to provide a SSN to register - and thus obtain the same benefits registered users do. That said I'm personally not opposed to giving a bit of a bump to Anon Coward posters. (Heheh SSN - Soylent Security Number? :P)

          I think you will find the current setup is mostly just due to how slashcode was built. On that other site they needed subscription revenue, so it sort of makes sense that the system would give some buffs to registered users to encourage them to subscribe/maintain their subscription. If SN ends up on a donation-based system these sort of incentives may have less use/importance.

          [Posted without karma bonus out of respect for parent's point of view]

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by unitron on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:18PM

    by unitron (70) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:18PM (#24282) Journal

    ...is not to have unlimited mod points, but to have them when I want them, when I see something I feel needs modding up (or on rare occasions down).

    You could give everybody their own pool of them, and when they're used up there are no more until a certain period of time has passed and the pool is reloaded, so that they're available for doing good with, but not obsessively.

    --
    something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
    • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:40PM

      by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:40PM (#24307) Homepage

      This is an interesting idea, have a few (1-3) "reserve" mod points floating around for high-karma users that *could* replenish after a month or so.

      --
      (Score:1^½, Radical)
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:50PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:50PM (#24437) Journal

        What about connecting the replenishing to the upmoderation of your own posts? For example, if you got your post upmodeed (and are not on your upper limit of permanent moderation points), you get a certain fraction of a point (say, 0.2 points) into your permanent pool. Of course you can only spend full points (it may also make sense to only display full points, i.e. rounding down on display). Similarly, downmods of your own posts may reduce the number of permanent mod points you have by the same amount.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 1) by kbahey on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:40PM

    by kbahey (1147) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @04:40PM (#24306) Homepage

    Last week, I changed my settings to opt out of moderation ...

    That is because of the large number of points (10) I get in a very narrow time frame (4 hours), each and every day. This works for people who only browse this site and don't work, browse other sites, eat, ...etc.

    So, even though the 8 hours is better than 4, it is still not enough. Perhaps 24 hours is right, or even we need a bit more.

    As for commenting and moderating, I think it is worth a shot for a little while, as long as the pool of regular visitors is fairly small. Once the site grows more, it will be a recipe for abuse (post and moderate your own posts, or moderate posts that support your own viewpoint).

    Maybe you need to forbid people from moderating their own comments for a start to prevent the obvious.

    Also, if we remain with commenting and moderating being mutually exclusive, it would be very helpful to have an indicator that you commented or moderated in an article so that you decide whether to follow up with the other.

    There is no better way for a community site than experimentation ...

    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Wednesday April 02 2014, @10:35AM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 02 2014, @10:35AM (#24682) Journal

      Last week, I changed my settings to opt out of moderation ...

      That is because of the large number of points (10) I get in a very narrow time frame (4 hours), each and every day.

      Why not opt back in, and just use the points if & when you can? I don't think anything bad happens if your mod points expire. The electrons are recycled :)

       
      Though as I've said before [soylentnews.org] I do think there is a psychological issue here, and I'm starting to wonder whether it might be insurmountable.

  • (Score: 1) by Adrian Harvey on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:53PM

    by Adrian Harvey (222) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @05:53PM (#24361)

    There's a lot of debate about other issues in here, but I'd like to put the other case - to keep the seperation.

    I still think that the seperation of moderation and debate powers provides a useful control against abuse and manipulation of the discussion. It stops the down voting of dissenting opinions in other threads whilst posting yours. I would be sorry to see it go.

    While we're a smaller site I think people just have to get used to having smaller scores on posts. There's no reason why a good post *has* to have a score of 5. It's ok for it to have any score that gets it over my viewing threshold, and with fewer comments here I have my threshold set lower than on /.

    • (Score: 1) by starcraftsicko on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:28PM

      by starcraftsicko (2821) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:28PM (#24469) Journal

      +1 - Why don't I have mod points?

      Consider keeping posting and moderation separate. There is a reason why +1 agree/interesting and -1 disagree/troll should not be available to discussion participants. Ultimately, even with meta-moderation, moderation by participants will discourage differing points of view.

      If we just can't keep our hands off the moderation system and want participants to moderate, consider establishing a threshold based on prior moderation - participating moderators cannot moderate anything that has a score of 2 or higher. High karma users could avoid participant-moderation altogether. Having extra moderation for undiscovered posts could outweigh the negatives of having moderators participate.

      --
      This post was created with recycled electrons.
  • (Score: 2) by Dale on Wednesday April 02 2014, @01:58AM

    by Dale (539) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @01:58AM (#24563)

    Unless we are hurting for comments I would assume keep the no modding in stories you've posted to. Barring that, I could go for not being able to mod anything after posting.

    On another note, thank you for making all the story headline blocks be links to the stories. That was the one thing that was off to me and tickled the back of my mind every time I tried to click on the headlines and went nowhere.

  • (Score: 2) by naubol on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:25PM

    by naubol (1918) on Thursday April 03 2014, @02:25PM (#25572)

    I am sure this will sound facile to many, as it is an idea taken from other social networks, but one of the things I'd really like to see is a way to emotionally respond to a post without intellectually engaging with it.

    The idea would be to have three buttons, laugh, love, cry, and you can click it on any post. It doesn't have to affect karma, although, since there is no *negative* and it doesn't have to affect the view filter, I don't see why it couldn't have a factor limited affecton karma.

    I think this would have the affect of encouraging people to not lurk as *much* in a way that isn't detrimental, and to improve the appeal of the their posts. You can do a running counter of how many laughs/loves/cries you've caused. It would also be nice to see which users did the action.

    This might also cut down on noise over time, as I think there are a fair number of people who post in these situations but don't add to the discussion.

  • (Score: 1) by FakeBeldin on Friday April 04 2014, @07:03AM

    by FakeBeldin (3360) on Friday April 04 2014, @07:03AM (#26072) Journal

    The other day, I logged in to PipeDot once again. I was greeted with the option to moderate posts. I've been a registered user here longer than there, and I have never seen an option to moderate posts here (perhaps I overlooked it). The way I experienced PipeDot's model (which may be completely incorrect, but that's how it came across to me) is that you could post and moderate in the same story.
    The ability to moderate made me feel appreciated, and more a part of its community.
    It also radiated (to me) the concept "we're all adults here" - no need to pick some and elevate them over others. And I realised the moderation of bash.org is similar.

    So, what could be a viable model? Based on the above, I see two options, 1 and 2:
    1. all logged in users to moderate all posts not made by themselves.
          (how I experienced PipeDot and Bash.org)
    2. all logged in users get 5 modpoints per story, not to spend on their own posts.
          (a slightly reduced version)

    Just to add: I've had so few options to moderate on this site, that to me, the option to moderate would be something very valuable, to be used only in the utmost important cases. If I see a good post, that already has a +2, I might not spent my treasured modpoints on making it a +3 - even though I think it deserves that.
    On the other hand, if everyone can moderate, people will moderate as they think is appropriate. And if everyone can moderate, the inevitable "bad" moderations will be undone by others.
    (it works on Bash.org, and they don't even require anyone to log in to moderate)